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3/1/2014 Previews - The Mad Max edition

Two men enter…one man leaves.
That is the chant of the week as two of the top games of the week pit two undefeated teams against one another.

In the first game, a perfect Princeton faces a perfect Hopkins.
Princeton is 2-0 with wins over Hofstra and Manhattan.
Through these two games, Princeton’s offense is averaging 13 goals per game.  They are spreading the wealth as four players have put up more than 5 points each. Tom Schreiber leads the way with 10 points (4G, 6A).  Princeton’s special teams has been spot on converting 63% of their extra man opportunities, while only allowing opponents to convert 20% of the time.  The Tigers are average at 52% face-off wins which could be a pivotal key to this game.  The Tigers defense has played solid with Brian Kavanagh in net stopping 64% of what is thrown at him.

Hopkins is a perfect 3-0 ith wins over Ohio State (TRIPLE OT), Towson, and Michigan.
While the Jays are averaging 13 goals per game, their shot selection at times has been off (1st Mids).  The Stanwick quarterback tradition continues as Wells has 3G, 13A.  At the Face-off circle, the Jays have won 62% of the time.   In net, Eric Schnieder has looked very good making some big saves bringing his percentage to 67%.

This game will come down to three things.
1) The lack of production from Hopkins 1st line midfield.  Guida and Reed need to do more with their opportunities.
2) Face off battle.  Statistically Hopkins has a huge advantage, however, realistically I think it will end up more like 55-45 on the day.  If Hopkins wants the win, they will need to own more than 50% of the face-offs.
3) Pace.  So far Hopkins’ 3rd quarters are phenomenally one-sided for the Jay, while the 4th is a complete 180 in favor of their opponents.  That is how Ohio State almost beat them.  2-2 at half time, Hopkins comes out and scores 6 in the third to take an 8-5 lead headed into the final quarter.  Ohio State scored 3 goals in the last 7 minutes to force OT.  All in all Hopkins is outshot (49-19), outscored (8-5), and outhustled on GBs (36-18) in the 4th (+OT).
Princeton wins this with a 4th quarter surge by 3.

The next undefeateds square off in a possible preview of Memorial weekend as Maryland squares off against Duke

Duke is also perfect at 4-0 with wins over Jacksonville, Denver, Penn, and Stony Brook.
Duke’s offense is living up to the hype, outscoring opponents 53-32. Jordan Wolfe, and Josh Dionne lead the way with 10 goals each. At the Face Offs, Brendan Fowler continues his dominance winning 64% of the draws. The only drawback to Duke’s offense is their Man-up unit only converting twice on 11 opportunities (18%). On the defensive side of the field for Duke, there are a couple major surprises.
First, Klye Turri has had one of the roughest starts for a goalie I can remember facing 39 shots with 8 saves and 17 goals against for an average of 12.32/game and save percentage of 32%. However, surprise #2 has been how huge his successor, Luke Aaron has been. Luke has 32 saves with only 15 goals against for an average of 5.73, and a save percentage of 68%. Those numbers are pure gold.

Maryland is a perfect 3-0 with wins over Mt. St. Mary’s, UMBC, and Syracuse.
Maryland just finished giving Syracuse a beat down to remember (or forget depending on the color jersey you support). Maryland looks good everywhere.
They too have an offense scoring over 15 goals per game. They too have a Face Off man winning 67% of his draws (Charlie Raffa), and a goalie that stands on his head, Niko Amato. Niko is an excellent goalie with a 5.25 goals against, and save percentage of 65%.
Maryland can play both up tempo, and a slow down game well.  So no matter what Duke will try to bring, the Terps will have an answer.

Duke has looked good, but Maryland looks better, tougher on D, and I think the Terps take it by a pair.

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